The Good News Collective is a handful of short, positive news blurbs designed to remind us that there is still a lot of good going on out there in the world amidst the COVID pandemic.
Antonio, a high school senior in Buffalo, NY, was concerned that damage and garbage from a night of looting in his city would prevent people from commuting to work safely the next morning. So, beginning at 2:00 am and for the next 10 hours, Antonio worked to clean up the streets. Many people celebrated his positive actions, including a man named Matt who wanted to give Antonio his 2004 Mustang convertible. Matt couldn't have known what that car would represent when he handed over the keys. Antonio was at a loss for words when he saw it because his mother, who had passed away in 2018, had driven the same car, right down to the color. He also received the offer of car insurance for a year, and a scholarship to continue his education. Cleaning up the streets was just the latest in community and church projects Antonio has been involved in. He said that although he is very grateful for the recognition he has received, most of all he hopes his actions would have made his mother proud.
Power of Sun and Water
In a time when a spotlight is being shone on the importance of handwashing, it has become more apparent than ever how lack of access to water is a further obstacle to staying healthy in the pandemic. A 32-year old shoemaker living in Ghana felt he and his brother could do something to help fellow citizens fight against COVID-19. They gathered the supplies they thought they could use and in less than 48 hours turned an old metal barrel into a solar-powered handwashing basin. The device is set to run on a 25-second timer and works like a hands-free sink. Richard and his brother Osei have been fielding calls, including from government officials in Ghana to see if more of their machines could be constructed for placement throughout the country.
A young boy in Kenya also put his concern and ingenuity to work in building a wooden handwashing machine that has earned him a presidential award. After watching a TV show about the virus, 9-year old Stephen found some wood that his father had purchased to make a window frame. He built the machine with a foot pedal so users could avoid touching any surfaces. After receiving positive reaction Stephen built a second one and there is demand for many more. Stephen was among 68 Kenyans to be awarded a Presidential Order of Service. He wants to be an engineer when he grows up.
Students Put Trip on Hold
Some young people in Santa Fe, New Mexico also stepped up to help others recently. A group of Grade 8 students had planned to end their school year with a rafting trip and did a fair bit of fundraising to make that happen. After hearing how badly the Navajo Nation had been hit by COVID-19, the class wanted the money to be donated to help in whatever way it could. A parent volunteer made some phone calls and learned that items from diapers to medicine to cans of soup to clean water were needed. That parent, and her two daughters, made the delivery on behalf of the eighth graders to a very grateful community.
Crisis Averted by Quick-thinking Group
A car accident in Indianapolis resulted in a woman being thrown from her vehicle and trapped underneath a van. A passerby who heard the impact was about to call for help when all of a sudden, a group of people were already on the scene. While some talked to and tried to calm the woman, others began assessing how to lift the van off of her. After a few more people gathered they had enough muscle power to lift the fan and pull her to safety. The woman was taken to the hospital where she was listed in critical but stable condition. One of those who stopped to help said, "There was no hesitation. There was no decision. It was instant, like everybody automatically worked together."